A matter of opinion

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Mr. Shawn Mitchell, hard-working Albertan, age unreported, has jumped into notoriety throughout our province thanks to his spiteful and intellectually lazy letter penned to Sun Media.  

We can only assume he wrote it after he completed his shift at his job — to date, not “stolen” by a foreigner.

While it is natural to audibly scoff at his unfortunate ignorance, for the sake of argument please stop for a minute to consider how many letters like this are submitted daily to our national papers.

Then, look around your shoulder and tip your ear towards your neighbour’s conversation.

Perhaps they are muttering that so-and-so down the road is less of a person than they.

Or perhaps, merely less entitled to something. Then, have a glance at the Internet.

Resentment is not an Albertan privilege.

Slandering and blaming others for job market fluctuations is not unique to an angry male who gleans information concerning the state of Newfoundland’s educational system from bumper stickers.

I am reminded of St. John’s dwellers expressing resentment towards Mt. Pearl commuters.

We share this world with folks who enjoy stirring pots, who tread on the true notion of community on their way to their respective flagpole.

Recall the lady who recently swore off our province due to her displeasure over an outdoor concert that sold expensive water bottles.

Mr. Mitchell ends his tirade stating that he misses the days before the boom, or something to that effect. He reveals that his anger is based on resentment towards time itself.

Giving people a voice is the privilege we should celebrate.

Giving their demonstrably foolish opinion any more attention than that of a nipper is at our own peril.

Jonathan Richler

St. John’s

Organizations: Sun Media

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Cyril Rogers
    August 01, 2013 - 10:34

    The problem, as Mr. Richler illustrates, is that many of us, if not careful, tend to classify those who are different as being somehow less than we are. I have heard all kinds of negative comments from my fellow citizens over the years and have undoubtedly be guilty of it myself on occasion, so I would not be too quick to judge Mr. Mitchell. What he said was inaccurate and biased but we have all been guilty of the same broad statements. Rather than castigate Mr. Mitchell it would be better if we examined our own biases and prejudices and the attitudes we hold toward others. We should all be very proud of where we come from and not let others' opinions undermine our sense of self. If we do, then our sense of self is not very strong.

    • Marge
      August 03, 2013 - 09:36

      How right you are Cyril. Just yesterday, a co-worker of mine stated, "I'm not racist, but ....." and then categorized a whole race of people in a negative light by what she said afterward. And unfortunately, we all have a tendency to do this sort of thing. It's human nature. This world would be a so much better place for us to inhabit if we, including myself at times, made a conscious effort to refrain from the negative comments about others - whether it be individuals or entire groups of people. Let's stick up for ourselves if need be, but let's make an effort to keep a lid on the toxic, inflammatory put-downs (including condescending remarks) toward others.

  • Petertwo
    August 01, 2013 - 08:36

    I agree, that was my read on that letter too. Obviously he had a whole pile of suppressed anger and it got downloaded, like a lot of bullies, on who are perceived to be the weakest. The Calgary Sun said they regretted printing the letter, maybe, but regrets or saying "sorry" do not put things back to where they were. People from this province have moved to find employment for centuries, like to Boston to fish, Ontario to work in industries there, they have a well renouned reputation for the work ethic, wherever they have gone, Alberta included otherwise they would not get hired. Heck this place was settled before Alberta even existed, if you want bureacratic seniority the folks here were first, they only joined because they were sorry for the ROC and knew they needed their help!

  • lad
    August 01, 2013 - 08:19

    you would have to live in Alberta for a few years before you realize just how lazy and whiny Albertans are , this is why they rely on foreign workers to fill positions that Albertans think they are to good to work at. I've been living here for 15 years and can honestly say that Albertans are some of the most ignorant and lazy people that i have ever met.